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Alex Baer

Tales of the Orange Piñata

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Another day, another passel of brain cells slaughtered by Reality.

Take Trump, for example -- please.  And never give him back, so that we might yet sleep safely again at night, after we decontaminate our politics, our minds, our children, our clothing...

Today, as you know, Mr. Wonderful is in Mexico, at a splendid invitation from its president -- to the stunned disbelief of its multiply-insulted citizenry.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto gets world-class points in patience and, in, well, class, in having The Orange Buffoon visit.

Nieto is an adult, so he has Trump at a huge disadvantage right off the bat.  Nieto is also leading by example, demonstrating the sort of calm decorum and wise, open leadership we will never come to expect, or experience, from any Republican in this country.

Nieto is additionally behaving in a manner befitting a head of state, and is keeping open lines of communication.  If he has a hidden agenda here, it may be in trying to train Trump in occupying a world stage, in stage craft, and in statesmanship, unaware The Donald is already perfection personified, and more.

Either that, or else, Nieto simply wants get a short exposure to the Grim-Reaper-Nominee up close, just as one gets shots in order to hurry the making of antibodies, in order to ward off catastrophic diseases.

Nieto could also want to simply preemptively meet the train-wreck that is Trump, on the relatively safety of his own home turf, where the Mexican president knows he can go and lie down a while after contact, receive psychological first-aid, obtain migraine remedies, declare a national emergency, order his population to safety, then call in air strikes to contain the lethal contaminant, and so on.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 August 2016 20:34 Read more...

Crazy Is As Crazy Does

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The Big Crazy seems to have settled in for a while.

I'd hoped The Big Crazy might move on, spooked, when the six "Mars Mission" crew members were released from their habitat in Hawaii after a 365-day simulation.  I thought having that much Actual Science back in the atmosphere again, all at once, might cause The Big Crazy to at least retreat a bit.  Nope.

A check of the headlines tells me The Big Crazy has dug in for the long haul.  Take your pick: 
  • Former aide says Trump a psychopath.
  • Weiner, wife split over more crotch pics.
  • Trump campaign CEO not fond of 'whiny-brat' Jews.
  • US unable to give away 500 tons of peanuts.
  • Children's Home won't accept atheist cash donation
  • Burkini ban continues by French mayors
  • Intoxicated United Airlines pilots arrested in cockpit
  • Trump surrogate tweets pic of Clinton in blackface
  • Hackers break into voter data in two states
  • Bats have on-field sex during Lions-Ravens game
  • Mylan offers cheaper generic EpiPen
  • Trump to build force-field wall along border
  • My wife, children actually from Pluto, says Trump

And then, I backed up a little.  (No, not the Trump stories -- you get used to the hallucinations of that feverish moron after a while.  And not the bat-mating story, either -- thanks just the same.)

EpiPen, EpiPen....

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 20:24 Read more...

2016, a Wonder Year

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If it were possible, I'd have Perry Mason voted in as President, and be done with it -- even though the intellectual giants on the right would no doubt fear Perry's last name, and start up a whirlwind of vaprous Illuminati rumors.

With Perry, there would be no lack of adjectives describing his countless strengths, for any slogans and logos:  Infallible, fair, energetic, driven, brilliant, supremely knowledgeable, not easily outwitted, modest, humane -- the litany could go on like that for days.

Perry, though. Not Raymond Burr, mind you, even if that fine actor were still with us, but Perry Mason, the character we saw portrayed on The One-Eyed Know-It-All which invaded American households so long ago.

(I could easily see Della as VP -- no one else was as crisply efficient, warmly interpersonal, or as knowing of the mind of Mason any better.  Tragg and Burger?  Maybe the AG's office or DOJ.  Paul would likely end up at the FBI, maybe the CIA, the DIA, the XYQZW...)

In these dog days of August, and these psychodrama-daze of 2016 national politics, there is lots to wonder about.  And, I find myself wondering about them an awful lot.

One thing I wonder is how it is anyone ever treated Donald Trump like an actual political candidate. The man was a fluff-headed, self-aggrandizing, ill-adjusted buffoon with social and psychiatric issues from the outset.  He has only gotten worse sense he started -- either pushed in that direction or else his own mental state has been allowed to slip the leash and meander its own demonically-merry way.

Is it the persistence of false memory which is at fault here, as our having seen him on The Holy Teevee Screen. portraying the character Trump himself never was, which has so delighted and fascinated and gripped tight so many despairing Americans?  Was it seeing this person wield apparent power, make apparent decisions, produce apparent business results like no other?

Even at the peak of his television powers, Trump was merely a dust mite on Mason's lapel,  a residue of ink from a pen, a crumb of toast from breakfast, accidentally riding in a cuff.

I am thinking it takes less to fool us as a people than it used to.  Mason's fictional successes and struggles?  These were at least based in reality, small morality plays marching toward justice, via compassion, hard work, and sheer brainpower.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 14:54 Read more...

Nothing-Speak: Dog-Whistle Comfort Chow

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This stuff is getting really hard to ignore, which is part of the plan, of course.

If Republicans can garner enough attention with Crazy Theories, Insane Supporters, and Bizarre Backers, then their psychotic candidates, all across the land, will, by comparison, be automatically seen as sedate and tame and cute as li'l baby pit vipers, all worn out, tangled up in a ball, sound asleep and at rest.

We already know, beyond all doubt, and clarity -- and the frayed and tattered edges of our long-suffering patience -- that Republicans only respond to Feelings, like fear and paranoia.  Everyone else, to some degree at least, responds to Facts, like information and evidence.

This is one big part of why we've spent the last eight years -- and more -- having a logjam in everything we do and say and attempt:  No one is speaking the other's language.  We are talking past each other.  We resort to our own modes, decipherable only to members of our own camps.

In this scenario, even if one group had something of interest to convey to the other, had that group's improbable interest and attention, there is currently no real way to relay the information -- short of interpreters, hand signs, silent movie theatrics, puppet shows, mimes, interpretive dance...

One side has been routinely and continually threatening to pull out all the stops, removing all the few remaining cables of the shabby communications bridge now swaying across the growing chasm between groups.

There are only a couple cables left -- and minions on the Breakaway Alt-Right have their amphetamine chipmunks sawing away like mad with hacksaws on those huge metal suspension-bridge cables.

These vibrating, saw-wielding hedgehogs are cheered on in their efforts by the GOP as a whole.

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 August 2016 20:59 Read more...

Robert and the Big Red Bus

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And now, boys and girls, a story about Missing Links in the Republican Party:

There came a time -- just once, so far -- when the Big Red Republican Bus made room for everyone inside, even the people usually considered too nasty or looney or strange to ride with all the nice people who rode the Big Red Bus for years and years and years.

These new-ish, and very different people, were called the BS-ers, which was short for the Bus-Stoppers and Bus-Toppers.  These were nicknames for people who would try to stop the Big Red Bus as it sped down the highway, and try to make the driver at least let them ride up on top, outside, in the open air -- because they wanted to be part of the Big Red Bus Ride so very, very much.

The BS-ers came from all over.  They believed in many odd and terrible things -- things that most people in the country didn't really believe, not deep down inside.  The people inside the Big Red Bus sort of believed in these things, too, but it made them feel guilty and bad, because they knew it wasn't nice to believe in those BS-er things.

This is because the God blessing the Big Red Bus Fleet told them so.  God's rules were really specific and clear.  There was no getting around them.  But, the Big Red Bus Riders really liked believing in their God, but they also really liked those BS-er things, too, deep down inside.  The Riders told everyone -- even themselves! -- that they didn't really believe in them, just in the Fleet rules of their God.

It made them feel better that way, like having all their hate, but fearing it, too -- like you might like to have your cake and then eating it, too!

(It sometimes worked this way, where people believed one thing, but did the opposite thing, or looked away when someone did the opposite thing.  No one really knows why this is so, but we've all noticed it happening for a really, really, really long time.)

Anyway:  One day, a new driver started operating the Big Red Bus,  His name was Robert Mercer.  He was a rich hedge-fund hustler.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 August 2016 17:30 Read more...

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